Semolina and Gruyere Quenelles with Tomato Sauce
Traditional quenelles are oval-shaped dumplings made of puréed meat or fish. Here, Blanc uses semolina flour and Gruyère cheese for simple, hearty flavor. Both the quenelles and the tomato sauce can be prepared a day ahead.
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup semolina flour
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping quenelles
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 5 oz. finely grated Gruyère cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (3 cups)
- ⅓ cup tomato purée
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ tsp. sugar, optional
1. To make Quenelles: Bring milk and butter to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Stir in flours, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in egg, egg yolk, and Gruyère. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread mixture on rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto dough, and cool 2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, to make Tomato Sauce: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in tomatoes, tomato purée, and thyme, and cook 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes more. Stir in sugar, if using. Transfer mixture to food processor, and purée until smooth.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring 2 quarts water to a simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Roll semolina dough into 8 4-inch logs on well-floured work surface to make Quenelles. Slide Quenelles into simmering water with spatula, and cook 8 to 10 minutes. (Quenelles will sink to bottom; when cooked they rise to the surface.) Transfer with slotted spoon to paper-towel-lined platter.
4. Spread 4 cups Tomato Sauce in 8-inch square gratin or casserole dish. (Reserve remaining 11/2 cups Tomato Sauce for another use.) Arrange Quenelles in Tomato Sauce. Sprinkle Gruyère over Quenelles. Bake 15 minutes, or until cheese on top is melted and sauce is bubbling hot.
March 2011 p.78